Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

Tempromandibular Joint Dysfunction is a condition that causes pain and discomfort around the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles that control the jaw movement and the bite.

Dr. Kantarovich is highly trained and has treated TMJ pain and related symptoms since the late 1980's. Whether its providing patients with nightguards, splints, TMJ appliances, day guards or equilibrating someone's occlusion; Dr. Kantarovich has been very successful in curing most of his patients from this process.

The TMJ acts like a hinge which is connected from the lower jaw or mandible. The mandible connected to the temporal bone of the skull. The joint is a sliding, flexible one which enables free movement of the jaw to move up and down and side to side. The joints enable the movement for talking, chewing,swallowing and yawning among individuals. Muscles surrounding this area control the movement of the jaw. If you place your hand in front of the ear and open your mouth, you can feel the joint and movement of the same.

TMJ disorders are primarily caused due to problem with the jaw, and muscles of the head and neck:

  • misalignment of the teeth resulting in a bad bite
  • grinding of the teeth putting a pressure on the TMJ
  • clenching of the teeth placing excess pressure on the joint and over working the muscles
  • prolonged stress causing tightening of the jaw muscles
  • jaw injury
  • arthritis of the condyle

A TMJ disorder affects a wide variety of people. Most people often do not realize that their symptoms relate to dental problems. Not only does TMJ cause pain in the muscles and jaw but also relate to these symptoms as well:

  • Headache,
  • muscle ache
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Neck pain, dizziness
  • Intermittent pain and ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Tenderness around the jaw and the joint

Untreated TMJ can lead to more chronic dental problems such as eventual eroding of the teeth structure and jaw bones and also loose teeth. If you have persistent pain in your jaws, you need medical attention. Visit Dr. Kantarovich’s office for an exact diagnosis of your dental problem and suggested treatments. Make sure you let Dr. Kantarovich of all the previous dental history and the symptoms you are undergoing for an appropriate treatment.

Dr. Kantarovich will perform a physical examination of your jaw joints for pain and tenderness by listening and feeling your jaw when you open and close your mouth. He will also examine the bite and facial movements since Bad Bite is the most common cause for TMJ disorders. Depending on the severity of the problem, Dr. Kantarovich may take an X-Ray or use other imaging techniques such as MRI a CT scan to get a more detailed view of your jaw and make sure there are no other problems causing the TMJ.

TMJ disorders can be treated through several simple self-care remedies or for more chronic pain through surgery. To stop grinding teeth, a molded bite guard can be used during the night. Dr. Kantarovich will also show you simple muscle relaxation exercises to release stress and prescribe medications for the same.

To treat bad bite, Dr. Kantarovich will diagnose the need for realignment of teeth. The realignment can change how your upper and lower teeth work together. This will improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth as well. Dr. Kantarovich has great success in realignment of teeth. Pain relief is an important concern of Dr. Kantarovich.

Another option is Arthrocentesis, involving insertion of needles into the jaw joint in order to remove all debris and inflammatory fluid from the jaw.

Post these dental treatments make sure you follow Dr. Kantarovich instructions by stretching and massaging your jaw muscles regularly, apply heat and ice to the area and eat soft foods for some time.